Chattanooga Railroad Series: The Old Line Of The Cincinnati Southern

Thursday, January 09, 2014

A railroad linking Chattanooga with Cincinnati was assured when the Cincinnati City Council on June 4, 1869, adopted a resolution designating Chattanooga as the southern terminus of the Cincinnati Southern Railway. The city's chief competitor had been Knoxville. 

Later in the month, the city of Cincinnati approved $10 million in bonds to build the railway. Most of the money came from Cincinnati, but Chattanooga citizens did vote 923 to 64 in 1873 to subscribe $10,000 to the line. Near the end of the construction, Chattanooga citizens raised another $100,000 for the railroad project.

Excavation work started in 1873. Convicts were among those working on the line near Chattanooga. 

The last spike was driven into place on Dec. 11, 1879, in Robbins Tunnel in Scott County.

It was Feb. 21, 1880, when the first freight train arrived in Chattanooga from Cincinnati. The first passenger train completed the 336-mile trip on March 8, 1880. The governor of Ohio was among the dignitaries arriving in Chattanooga for festivities.

The Cincinnati Southern's Tennessee River Bridge in Chattanooga was condemned as unsafe in August 1919. For several months traffic had to be routed into town on Chattanooga Traction lines through Red Bank.

The line comes in from Dayton, Sale Creek and Soddy Daisy before arriving at the Tennessee River just below where the Chickamauga Dam was built. Some of the original stone piers still help support the lengthy railroad bridge below the dam. 

It crosses Amnicola Highway on a trestle near the present Chattanooga State Commuity College. It then goes near the old Kings Point community before a crossing of South Chickamauga Creek..

The track gets closer and closer to the old Western and Atlantic line coming in from around the north end of Missionary Ridge, Then they meet near Billy Goat Hill at the site of the old Boyce station in East Chattanooga. This was near Wilder and Roanoke streets.

The Cincinnati Southern then shared the W&A line on into downtown Chattanooga.   

The city of Cincinnati still owns the railroad, which is leased to the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific Railway. Though millions in additional bonds had to be issued for the construction of the line, it has proven to be a moneymaker for Cincinnati and still supports some of its capital projects.

There is an iron bridge at Wilder Street, but the handsome Boyce station is long gone.


Senate Democrats Elect Lee Harris Senate Minority Leader

Senate Democrats elected Senator Lee Harris of Memphis to the post of senate minority leader  on Tuesday . "In a caucus of five members, every single Democrat is a leader in his or her own right," Senator Harris said. "We're making a bet on the future of the Democratic Party in Tennessee, and we're betting that we have better ideas to move Tennessee forward." ... (click for more)

Council Approves Tighter Stormwater Regulations On 2nd Reading 6-3

The City Council voted 6-3 on Tuesday night on second reading to approve tighter stormwater regulations recommended by a technical advisory group. Councilman Larry Grohn said the regulations are more stringent than required by oversight agencies and are opposed by local development groups. Councilman Chris Anderson said some of the opponents now support the move after an appeals ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Faculty Has No Business Being Involved In Hiring Decisions

This letter will hopefully bring some clarity to the recent situation created by the faculty of Chattanooga State Community College. It is based upon my tenure as a member of the faculty at Chattanooga State Technical Institute, the transformation to Chattanooga State Community College, and my service as the financial and administrative officer at Chattanooga State until my retirement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanksgiving Conversations

I am not predicting this will happen but I have known it to occur – in the middle of the Thanksgiving feast there will come a lull in the conversation and you can save the day if you’ll immediately look at the person to your right and ask, “What is the smartest thing you ever heard somebody say?” It is an easy thing, because we all love wisdom, and the ploy comes to mind because ... (click for more)

Vols' Jones: Vanderbilt Will Present Various Challenges

Tennessee football coach and selected players met with the media Monday during the Vols’ weekly press conference at Neyland Stadium. The coach and players – linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and defensive back Cameron Sutton discussed last week’s loss to Missouri and the upcoming Southeastern Conference finale against rival Vanderbilt in Nashville. The Vols 5-6, 2-5 SEC) ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Toser, Turner Set For TACA All-Stars

Ooltewah place-kicker Laszlo Toser and cheerleader Haley Turner, both seniors, will participate in the 2014 East-West All-Star football game at Tennessee Tech University on Dec. 12. Toser, the Owls’ record-setting kicker who is a Mr. Football finalist, will report on Tuesday night for practices leading up to the eighth annual game promoted by the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association. ... (click for more)